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Semiotics and Open Innovation The Food and Drink Innovation Network – Open Innovation Summit prepared for: food and drink innovation network prepared by:

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Presentation on theme: "Semiotics and Open Innovation The Food and Drink Innovation Network – Open Innovation Summit prepared for: food and drink innovation network prepared by:"— Presentation transcript:

1 Semiotics and Open Innovation The Food and Drink Innovation Network – Open Innovation Summit prepared for: food and drink innovation network prepared by: dr. kishore budha date: 14 Oct 2010 issue: 01

2 contents Introduction to 1HQ Semiotics. Language as a social sign system Social construction of innovation — managing risks of meaning. Innovation process modelling — how to signify opening up? –Semiotics steps — uncovering and aligning meanings. Case study

3 1 hard question, asked and answered… Leading Global Brand Agency. 70 insight, strategic, creative and commercial specialists. UK’s largest independently owned brand agency, established in Working with global, regional and local brands with clients ranging from major multi-nationals (inc. Unilever, Nestle, General Mills, Premier Foods, Allied Bakeries) to entrepreneurial start-ups. WHO ARE ?

4 Semiotics Overview

5 What is semiotics? Semiotics is the science of study of (cultural) meaning of things. It is an analytical tool that makes use of a wide array of data to answer the question: what does a product or service mean culturally?

6 The “open” (cultural) shaping of the bicycle 1843,

7 The “open” (cultural) shaping of the personal computer 1990-early 2000 Today mid-late 2000

8 SEMIOTICS, CULTURE, INNOVATION Innovation Process (Inside) Value Innovation processes and outcomes aim to create and capture value (e.g., products/services). Signs and symbols Innovation stakeholders understand and convey meaning of value through signs and symbols. Semiotics Inside “Semiotics inside” is the science of uncovering meanings of value within the innovation process and locating their cultural impact and worth Outcomes (Outside) Meaning Users/consumer values are cultural meanings, not just products and services. Signs and symbols Users/consumers read those signs and symbols in their cultural contexts Semiotics Outside “Semiotics outside” is the science of uncovering relevant meanings of innovation value in the wider cultural context of use and consumption.

9 Semiotics helps align innovation values with cultural meanings of values Semiotics helps “join up” Open Innovation.

10 Semiotics uncovers the meanings innovation stakeholders and processes give to outcomes and how those meanings resonate in the wider cultural context of consumption It discovers this question by exploring meaning in the wider innovation and social context

11 Social Construction of Meaning

12 Why is it important to uncover meanings Business Case Rising costs of tech development TO product development To taking it to market Shorter product life cycles Innovation as a management/socio-cultural process Written and spoken words and visual aids are central to any formal process. –e.g., briefs, research & insight, concept development, workshops, charts, images etc. Language shapes our understanding of the world but limited human ability (and commercial pressures) to capture and communicate complex ideas on paper and understand meanings encoded by others. Processes of Design and Technology, Insights, Strategy, Management and Creative development use discipline-specific discourses/taxonomies to understand, define and create meaning. –External stakeholders compound this problem Commonly shared meaning = rhetorical closure: “IT WORKS!” or “DOESN’T WORK”

13 Semiotics uncovers meanings across all stakeholders. It helps arrive at a shared meaning – springboard for innovation Users Stakeholders [e.g., media, govt, etc] Stakeholders [e.g., media, govt, etc] Organisation [strategy, vision, goals] Organisation [strategy, vision, goals] Designers, Technologists, etc Designers, Technologists, etc Semiotics uncovers consumers and user interpretation of product or service Product Service Brand Semiotics asks: how will/do stakeholders make meaning of product/service? How does the organisation interpret the product/service? How do designers and technologists make meaning of the product/service Using semiotics to socially construct meaning

14 what semiotics delivers Semiotics is a 21st century approach and tool for innovation which accounts for culture in the innovation process and outcomes. This enables brands/products/services to propose powerful, resonant and lasting meanings for consumers and users each time they interact with the value. Audit of ideas out there What are the ideas out there? What is their cultural value? How can the value be leveraged? Defining an idea and collaborating with external partners Does a new value require creation? Audit of ideas out there What are the ideas out there? What is their cultural value? How can the value be leveraged? Defining an idea and collaborating with external partners Does a new value require creation?

15 Semiotics helps manage the risks and pressures of short product life cycles

16 Innovation process modelling and semiotic steps

17 open innovation archetypes Outside-In Process Inside-out Process Coupled Process Boundaries of the company External Knowledge Exploitation outside the company Locus of innovation inside the company Source: Oliver Gassmann, Ellen Enkel, Towards a theory of open innovation

18 role of semiotics in uncovering meaning Culturally evaluating external knowledge and rapid development of scenarios –Desk-based analysis of cultural contexts Uncovering meanings within internal and external disciplines and stakeholders and helping arrive at shared meaning –Interviews/Ethnographies/Discourse analysis –Analysis of current knowledgebase and documentation (e.g., briefs, plans etc) –Workshop facilitation –Concept development

19 Semiotics tools | Methods used by semiotics Depth interviews Interviews with stakeholders to uncover meanings Cultural analysis What are the big cultural frames that would influence the outcomes Discourse analysis From readily available detailed and rich material that is generated by the volition of humans or social processes, e.g., case-studies, memos, notes, literature, media reports, online conversations, books, films etc. Ethnographies and field studies Detailed ethnographies to uncover opportunities for concept development Scenario building Using cultural trends forecasting to build scenarios and profiles of lead users

20 Case study tea bag innovation

21 Case Study: Black Tea bag innovation Overview Black tea (in bag) is the most-widely consumed tea in the UK. How can we innovate to “own” the tea bag, strengthening the position of the brand. Black tea is culturally deeply embedded – will not be abandoned. Semiotics brief Audit and guide the innovation process to ensure cultural resonance Defining technological needs culturally – makes hunt focused and saves time

22 Signifies “British cultural way” of looking at the world Tea drinking: 365-year-old British tradition

23 Reasonable flexibility of law when interpreting and applying them. e.g., English Law Reasonable flexibility of law when interpreting and applying them. e.g., English Law Rule (brew + milk and sugar) interpreted for individual tastes e.g., Tea Rule (brew + milk and sugar) interpreted for individual tastes e.g., Tea BRITISH CULTURAL WAY: FIRM, GENERAL RULES & LAWS

24 Cultural diffusion and Tea Cultural ideas diffuse into society either without any change – e.g., traditional dinner jacket – or the general “rule” of the dinner jacket gets adapted. Similarly, tea as a “rule” is understood as brew + milk/sugar, which diffuses in varying degrees

25 The cultural idea of tea is drawn from the firm law that THE basic brew can be customised allowing its cultural diffusion. Even though each tea is different, they reference the “firm law of tea”

26 Any radical change to this core impacts the shared meaning of tea BREW STRENGTH. e.g., Builders Tea, weak tea MILK SUGAR CONTEXT, OCCASION, OTHER ADDITIONS e.g., High Tea, Afternoon Tea, Lemon in tea BLACK TEA General contents* & ritual of preparation is “firm law” cultural diffusion through personalisation of firm law cultural diffusion through personalisation of firm law cultural diffusion through personalisation of firm law cultural diffusion through personalisation of firm law *Tea, Hot Water + Milk/Sugar

27 Pyramid tea bags “enhances” core BLACK TEA Shared cultural idea of drink cultural diffusion through personalisation of firm law cultural diffusion through personalisation of firm law cultural diffusion through personalisation of firm law cultural diffusion through personalisation of firm law

28 Our approach and solution Uncover Cultural meaning of tea, cultural meaning of innovation Articulate Define opportunities and boundaries – visual examples Audit Ideation Audit Creation Executional guidance Hunt for technologies

29 Semiotics and Open Innovation The Food and Drink Innovation Network – Open Innovation Summit prepared for: food and drink innovation network prepared by: dr. kishore budha date: 14 Oct 2010 issue: 01


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